School psychologists in the Owen J. Roberts School District can provide a wide range of evaluative, consultative, and therapeutic services to students and teachers. School psychologists have a background in both education and psychology. They have completed, at minimum, a masters degree plus 30 hours of additional graduate courses, including a year-long internship. As part of their graduate work, school psychologists are provided with training in areas such as learning theory, school systems, behavior management, counseling, personality development, consultation, and psycho educational assessment. School psychologists must be certified by the state in which they work. The school psychologists working within Owen J. Roberts hold an Educational Specialist certificate within the area of school psychology, issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
School psychologists use their skills to work with parents, teachers, counselors, and other school personnel to create a healthy and appropriate educational environment for our students. The primary role of the school psychologists in the district has been to conduct initial evaluations of students who may be in need of special education services. Students who may require special education services are referred by the Instructional Support Team (for students in kindergarten through grade 7) or Child Study Team (for grades 8 through 12) for a multidisciplinary evaluation of their learning needs. During the evaluation, pertinent information is collected about child’s performance from teachers, counselors, psychologists, and parents. This information is compiled, typically by the school psychologist for initial evaluations, into an evaluation report that includes recommendations on the child’s eligibility for special education services.
In order to request a multidisciplinary team evaluation for a school-age child, a parent should contact a child’s instructional support teacher, guidance counselor, or principal. The initial involvement of the Instructional Support Team or Child Study Team, however, is an important first step in assessing a student’s educational strengths and needs.
After an evaluation report is completed, copies are sent to the parents and the child’s school. This report is presented to the team within 60 calendar days from the date the district receives the signed Permission to Evaluate form. Within 30 calendar days a meeting is then convened at the school to discuss the child’s strengths and needs and if appropriate, to develop an educational plan. At that meeting, parents have the opportunity to ask questions about the evaluation report. Parents are also welcome and encouraged to contact their child’s evaluator, in advance of the meeting, to discuss any questions or concerns they may have.